Andrea del Verrocchio’s Equestrian Statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni

colleoni

In 1479 an equestrian monument to the mercenary Bartolomeo Colleoni of Bergamo was planned to be constructed by Venetian authorities. A competition was held and Andrea del Verrocchio submitted a life-size wax model of the horse in 1483. He won the commission and began work, but died in 1488, leaving it unfinished. He had completed the figure and horse in clay, and had noted that it was to be finished by his pupil Lorenzo di Credi, but this responsibility was given in 1490 to the Venetian bronze caster Alessandro Leopardi instead. It was originally requested to be placed in Piazza San Marco, but was instead placed in Scuola di San Marco. This statue and many others like it (including Donatello’s Gattamelata) is entirely based on the Roman equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius.

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